The Baltimore Ravens’ secondary obviously had a lot of issues in Week One against the Denver Broncos with Peyton Manning throwing for seven touchdowns. It was disappointing, embarrassing, and wounded some of the pride the Ravens have as a defense that has historically been stout.
But if we can look at a player like Jimmy Smith, who was victimized by Manning a little bit in week one, and has come back playing better than he has ever played over the last two weeks, I will gladly take it.
Since Smith was inserted into the Ravens’ starting lineup in Week Two, the Ravens’ defense hasn’t allowed a touchdown. Of course, a lot of that has to do with more than just Smith, but it is definitely promising to finally see Smith start to put it together.
“I thought I played well,” Smith noted via Baltimore Sun. “It was definitely a lot better than the first game, for all of us.”
In arguably the best game Smith has ever played, he helped hold All-Pro wide receiver Andre Johnson of the Houston Texans to just five catches for 36 yards. Who knew that the Week One blowout could possibly turn into a blessing in disguise?
I have to admit that I was bit skeptical of Smith at times with his inconsistencies, but I never doubted his ability to be one of the best corners in the NFL. He has all the talent in the world. Even when he gets beat down the field, Smith can still run with almost any wide receiver in the league. I personally think he has a higher ceiling than Lardarius Webb, who is one of the best corners in the NFL in his own right.
I think it is also important to note that the Ravens are developing quite the cornerback bookends with Smith and Webb, who complement each other very well. Smith comes in at 6-2 weighing 210 pounds, and Webb comes in at 5-10 weighing 182 pounds. It brings an element where the Ravens can mix and match with a lot wide receiver combinations in the NFL.
At the end of the day, Ravens wanted to go to the youth movement, and it is starting to look like the process is paying some dividends for the organization.